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Sharp Aquos LC-37LE320E - User Interface and Picture Negatives
The 37LE320E’s user interface is a little alarming. For it combines a very cheap and not especially cheerful looking remote control with some excruciatingly dated onscreen menus.
The structure of the menus isn’t exactly brilliant, either. For instance, within an Advanced picture menus is found another - and seemingly entirely unnecessary - ‘Advanced’ picture menu. Overall, it’s hard to believe that the 37LE320E spent much time in the hands of ‘end user’ test groups before hitting UK stores.
Maybe the complicated looking menus have loads of interesting features to handle? Nope. The only things of interest are a multi-level noise reduction system, the option to adjust the backlight, the ability to deactivate the set’s dynamic contrast system, a flesh tone adjustment, and - in that second Advanced menu... - the option to switch between 100Hz processing and a provided Film mode, as well as adjusting the strength of the 100Hz engine.
Unfortunately, though, none of the 100Hz settings available work at all effectively. In fact, the 100Hz system is almost bizarrely bad for a mid-range set released in 2011. Basically, it gives you all of the nasty stuff - as in, quite overt processing artefacts - while seemingly doing precious little of the good stuff - as in, tackling LCD’s innate motion blur problems.
This wouldn’t matter so much if the 37LE320E was good with motion in the first place. But without the messy 100Hz engine active, there’s a really quite alarming amount of motion smearing and lag around. Especially with standard definition material.
This isn’t the only area where the 37LE320E’s pictures come a cropper, either. For it also only manages a pretty average black level response by edge LED standards, thanks to a bluish ‘wash’ that hangs over dark scenes, reducing colour accuracy and crushing out shadow detail.
The already average black level situation is not helped in the slightest, moreover, by the set’s extremely limited viewing angle or by pretty clear evidence of backlight inconsistency; dark scenes are consistently blighted by obvious pools of light pouring in from each of the TV’s corners.